Decode Your Child’s Coloring Pages
Children like to give color, and their work is a reflection of their interior world. Most kids don’t think about or censor their artwork. For days gone by 40 years, I’ve used children’s Color Pages as an important part of my pediatric practice. At each well-child visit start at 4 or 5 5 years of age, our nurse asks the child to “give color a picture of your loved ones doing something.” To simplify the procedure, each exam room has blank white paper over a clipboard with a black colored felt pen.
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The family colouring helps me study development at a given moment in time, and it could tip me off to potential problems. A single coloring is a snapshot of an child’s viewpoint — of her role in the family, her relationship to other members of the family, and her self-esteem. In addition, it may show strengths in the child and the family that are important to recognize and validate. It could indicate cultural patterns that give me a much better knowledge of some behaviors or beliefs. I usually ask the parents for their impression of the colouring site, because our dialogue can produce even more info that might not come up in any other case.
A huge caveat here: Most of us want to find concealed meanings in Coloring Pages, but watch out for overinterpreting. It’s not smart to read too much into your son or daughter’s sketches. Instead, use them as an possibility to talk with your child about what he or she has drawn. Then ask questions about them to enhance communication between you. Do your best to avoid supplying too many of your own impressions. I purposely keep carefully the dialog very open-ended: “Tell me about your colouring. Who are the people in the picture? What exactly are they doing?” For examples of what you may be looking for with your own children, check out my evaluation of these kids’ Coloring Webpages.
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This first picture is a superb exemplory case of how artwork can be a springboard for dialog. It was drawn by a patient of mine when she was 11. She acquired lived exclusively with her mom since birth and she has no siblings. On the top, her physical health, schoolwork, and public development were just fine. But she made friends slowly but surely and she was unusually cautious about leaving her mother to go to friends’ residences. She preferred to have friends come to her house and play while her mother was nearby. I was worried that their close connection got truly in the way of her learning how to split up from her mommy, which really is a necessary part of development.
I hadn’t been able to understand this point across at prior office goes to. But with this coloring, I had developed an opening. Just how they were positioned so closely along, and the actual fact that a short string linked the mom and child, stood out if you ask me. WHILE I asked Mother, “What do you think concerning this picture?” she at first talked happily about her daughter’s colouring skills. But then she admitted that she could see what I’d been attempting to say about their romantic relationship. We could actually talk about it, and she left the office encouraged to help her girl (and herself ) learn how to isolate psychologically while maintaining their loving and close marriage.
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Color skills often get started to tell a tale in kindergarten. Although kids at this age tend to use simple stay figures, you can sometimes opt for things up from cosmetic expressions, where members of the family are placed, and what they’re doing. This second picture, drawn with a 5-year-old girl, is an exemplory case of that. She drew her mother on the far left, accompanied by the family dog, her dad, herself, and her 8-year-old brother. The lady drew herself as bigger than her parents — this typically demonstrates good self-esteem. It’s well worth noting that she positioned herself between her father and brother: When children are between 4 and 6 years old, they create a sense of their gender identity. As part of this normal developmental process, young girls often get bodily and emotionally nearer to their father (kids this age have a tendency to get nearer to their mom), and the emotions are temporary.